Editor's Desk: Looking for a reason to smile? Here are a couple

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James M. Berklan, Editor
James M. Berklan, Editor

If you feel you could use a good laugh or smile more often, you're not alone. That's not a bad rap on your workplace or colleagues, but rather a statement about the stressful environment in which long-term care professionals work.

I'm glad to say this column is about laughs and smiles. Within one week recently, I learned just how creative and clever long-term care workers can be. Not only that, but they actually used this thing called the Internet to get the job done. Better not say that too loud, though. Might unsettle those experts who never fail to assert that when it comes to modern technology, long-term care folk might as well be wrestling with their butter churns.

So what's the good buzz? First, there's a fun “movie trailer” from the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. Instead of the usual annual conference promotional material, AAHSA marketers decided to create an intense action-movie spoof. Its stars are none other than the group's playful CEO and board chairman.

The result is Georgia preacher Larry Minnix (the CEO) and California hipster Win Marshall (the board chair) looking like a “Men In Black” duo who might have watched too many “Indiana Jones” movies.

Whether you're an AAHSA member or not, check it out at www.aahsaconference.org. And stay with it to the end – it's worth it.

While still chuckling about finding that one, an artistic gem from the folks at the Assisted Living Federation of America crossed my desk. Simply put, it's a sweet music video showcasing some of the best voices working in assisted living facilities around the country. Are these professional singers moonlighting as long-term care professionals or vice versa?

Filmed in a day in a Washington-area recording studio, it is essentially assisted living's “We are the world” artistic moment in the sun. This is highly polished music-making.

Give it a look and listen at www.youtube.com/assistedlivingfed.

The talent in both of these is remarkable. But what I find most satisfying is the fact that long-term care pros had visions and followed through with them in a fun, engaging way.

There are signs that other long-term care groups also are pursuing similarly entertaining ventures. That's good for everybody — and offer another reason to smile.